Schools of Thought: DC’s New Generation of School Buildings

Marie Reed Learning Center by Quinn Evans Architects – Photo by Joseph Romeo Photography

Over the last decade, the District of Columbia has made a substantial investment in modernizing its public school buildings, and the city’s public charter schools and private schools have also made major investments in their facilities.

The design of these new and renovated schools has moved the architecture of learning spaces well beyond the basics of traditional school design. Like DC’s widely praised new public library buildings, these modernized school buildings employ innovative architecture to better achieve their mission.

What prompted the District’s school rebuilding effort? What difference does good school design make for student learning? And what design features do the city’s new school buildings incorporate? This exhibition explores these questions by looking at 19 of the District’s modernized public, public charter, and private schools.

Schools of Thought is organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery and Suman Sorg Gallery.

Written and curated by Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA

Designed by Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA

Edited by Sean O’Donnell, FAIA and Ronald O’Rourke

Fact checking by Sean O’Donnell, FAIA and David Constine

Perkins Eastman DC       
Bell Architects + Newman Architects           

Supporting Sponsors
Bowie Gridley Architects              
cox, graae + spack architects
DLR Group

Hord Coplan Macht   
ISTUDIO Architects
MCN Build Foundation 
Quinn Evans Architects
SK&A DC | Structural Engineers
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.


The 2019 Awards Show

Wildcat Mountain Residence by David Jameson Architect – Photo by Paul Warchol Photography

The 2019 Awards Show combines award-winning projects from two of AIA|DC’s largest competitions:

Each year, our competitions recognize practitioners, educators, and students within the architecture community who demonstrate excellence in design. Projects are selected by distinguished juries of design professionals based outside of the Washington metropolitan region. Congratulations to all the winners.

Announcing our 2019 Awards Show People's Choice Award Winner: The Grass House by

2019 Chapter Design Award Winners and Jury:

Ayers Saint Gross and Jonathan Kuhn Architect;; CORE architecture + design; David Jameson Architect; DLR Group; EL Studio; Hartman-Cox Architects; ISTUDIO Architects; KPF and FOX Architects; McInturff Architects; OTJ Architects; Peabody Architects and Deco Design Studio; Perkins Eastman DC; Reader & Swartz Architects; Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Shalom Baranes Associates; SHoP Architects; Stantec Architecture; Suzane Reatig Architecture; Wiedemann Architects LLC

  • Andrew West, AIA of Elkus Manfredi Architects
  • Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP of Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC
  • James E. Richärd, AIA of richärd+bauer
  • Michael Gabellini, FAIA of Gabellini Sheppard Associates
  • Dina Griffin, FAIA, NOMA, IIDA of Interactive Design Architects

2019 Washington Residential Design Award Winners and Jury:; DLR Group; Donald Lococo Architects; Gardner Architects LLC; McInturff Architects; Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

  • David Leven, AIA of LevenBetts
  • Richard Buchanan, AIA of Archer Buchanan
  • Anne Fougeron, FAIA of Fougeron Architecture

The 2019 Awards Show is organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery and Suman Sorg Gallery.

This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

2019 Professional Awards of the Potomac Chapter, ASLA

This exhibition highlights award-winning works of landscape architecture from the 2019 Professional Awards of the Potomac Chapter, ASLA. The range of projects encompasses residential, private and public practice, and a variety of project types that includes parks, courtyards, plazas, historic landscapes, and more.

The exhibition illustrates the range in scale and scope of the landscape architecture profession and highlights the high quality of work being produced in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. The Chapter’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Alain C. deVergie, FASLA, is recognized in the exhibition, as are our two Edward B. Ballard Scholarship recipients.

For more information about the Potomac Chapter, ASLA, please visit:

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is a national professional organization representing 17,000 landscape architects. ASLA has 48 state and regional chapters. Founded in 1899, the mission of ASLA is to advocate, to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of cultural, natural and/or the built environments for human enjoyment. ASLA works to increase the public’s awareness of and appreciation for the profession of landscape architecture. ASLA is an active advocate for the profession at the local, state, and national levels on public policy issues, including licensure, livable communities, sustainable design, surface transportation, the environment, conservation issues, historic preservation, small business issues, and providing outdoor access that exceeds the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The early visionaries in the profession of landscape architecture noted that the designs of outdoor spaces are created for recreation, inspiration, and essential respite from the emerging urban environment. City parks and green spaces within the urban environment, along with private residential gardens, helps to improve physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities and make neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. The profession enhances the outdoor environment for both private and public enjoyment. ASLA and its members are at the forefront of efforts to increase respect for the land and our natural environment, particularly on issues of prudent land use and planning, urban design, sustainable development, waste and water management including stormwater, resource preservation, recreation, and land reclamation.

About the Potomac Chapter, ASLA

The Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects represents nearly 400 landscape architects in DC, Northern Virginia, and Suburban Maryland. The purpose of ASLA is to advance the profession of Landscape Architecture in the eyes of the general public. The Chapter is the main advocacy body to advance the profession on the local level by holding events, meetings, outings and providing information regarding the profession to the local media and schools. The Chapter may also interface with municipal governments regarding local issues that could impact the profession, or the public realm.

Organized by the Potomac Chapter, ASLA in cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

Sponsored by

Printing by


Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior

Frederick Robie House, Dining Area Looking Toward Living Area, Chicago, Illinois, 1916. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

The District Architecture Center is pleased to host Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, an exhibition exploring the design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, often considered his greatest architectural accomplishment. Through reproduction drawings, photographs, and photographic murals, the exhibition illustrates the myriad—both obvious and subtle—ways Wright created the visual character of interior space and objects within it, each an essential detail of the larger whole.

Drawings and photographs of interiors show the ingenious ways Wright maximized the feeling of open space while accommodating the various functions for daily living. Wright’s rejection of past styles led him to the contemporary visual language of abstraction and geometry. For Wright, this language had a deeper source as the structure and ornament of all forms in nature. Just as a living form is one entity in structure and ornament, so the house was to be a single whole in structure and expression. The works in this exhibition reveal how all elements in Wright’s design express the overarching abstract geometric order of the house.

About the Curator
Exhibition curator Virginia Terry Boyd received her PhD in Human Environment and Design after obtaining an MA in Art History. Dr. Boyd is currently Emerita Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Design Studies Department, where she was the department chair. She has been a guest scholar at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive in Scottsdale, Arizona, and frequently lectures and publishes journal articles on issues related to Frank Lloyd Wright and Twentieth Century American material culture. 

About International Arts & Artists
International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, art institutions and the public. For more information, visit                                

About The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation was established by Frank Lloyd Wright himself in 1940 to be a cultural and educational institution and the primary conservator of his work. It is dedicated to inspiring people with the living experience of Frank Lloyd Wright's ideas, philosophies, and body of work. The Foundation owns Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Both are National Historic Landmarks with robust tour operations, educational outreach, retail operations, and other activities. The Foundation: runs the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, with fully accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs (a continuation of the apprenticeship program Wright established in 1932); stewards the vast Frank Lloyd Wright Archives; owns and manages the intellectual property for all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, drawings, plans, art, and other creations from his prolific 70-year career; and engages in a variety of meaningful outreach programs and partnerships – such as this exhibition. For more information, visit

This program is presented in association with Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, in cooperation with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ, on view through September 6, 2019.



Curated by Virginia Terry Boyd

This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

Installation by Tim Anderson

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Dorothea DeSchweinitz Fund for the District of Columbia of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


#iseeDC2019 is an exhibition of artistic photographs celebrating architecture and culture in our nation’s capital. Selected by a jury from the monthlong #iseeDC2019 Instagram Photo Contest, photo enthusiasts were challenged to engage the city around them and explore, through a photographic lens, the cultural exchange between people, place, time, and space. Using Instagram, they documented how buildings, landscapes, and cultural activities shape our experiences.

Organized by the AIA|DC Design Excellence Committee, the contest seeks to inspire interaction between the public and architecture in Washington, DC.

The 2019 jury:

  • John Michael Day, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C, Associate Principal of Cunningham | Quill Architects
  • Jessica Marcotte Photography
  • Holly Garner, Photographer

#iseeDC2019 is organized the AIA|DC Design Excellence Committee in cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

Instagram Photo Contest and Exhibition Planning Committee: Lewis Goetz, FAIA, FIIDA of Baskervill and Lala Yi of AECOM with Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA of AIA|DC.

Sponsored by:

Exhibition produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of:

Supported in part by:

Back to Architecture Month


From Architect to Artist: Public Art by Charles Bergen, AIA

Charles Bergen, AIA practiced architecture for 22 years until his lifelong passion for art intervened. After two summer residencies at Salem Art Works in upstate New York, Charles founded his art practice and began a career as a professional sculptor. Over several years, Bergen experimented with a range of materials—mostly metal and wood—and subjects: animals such as birds, dolphins, and fish; and figures like Chuck Brown and Theodore Roosevelt. Additionally, he proposed sculptural signage identifying “Barracks Row” and “Capitalsaurus Chasing a Falcarius.”

In recent years, Bergen’s practice has focused on public art projects, many of which were awarded through public commissions. Notable projects include the narrative Centennial Artwork for the City of Bowie, Maryland and fire and police call boxes-turned artworks for Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street. One of Bergen’s most celebrated and talked about projects is the “Barnes Dance,” also known as a pedestrian scramble, with its whimsical graphic of dragons and Chinese zodiac images at the intersection of 7th and H Streets NW in Washington, DC’s Chinatown.

Bergen’s affection for animals and nature, combined with history, is evidenced in his body of work with sculptures that appear playful and decorative, yet serious and functional. With his artwork, he manages to strike a balance between imagery and narrative, demonstrating just enough to invite curiosity, imply a story, and inspire appreciation. This exhibition presents drawings, photographs, and objects from selected projects completed by the artist since 2014.

From Architect to Artist: Public Art by Charles Bergen, AIA is organized by AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery in collaboration with the artist.

This exhibition was designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

Installation by Tim Anderson.

See more photos by Victoria Pickering.

Special thanks from the artist to:
Aaron Rogers, Adams Morgan Partnership BID, Amber Logan, Amin Abdullah, Anacostia Arts Center, Annie's Ace Hardware, Artsee, Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS, Brad Sargent, Brandon Bailey Art, Brian Barrie, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Carla Perlo, Cheryl Edwards, Chris Earley, Chris Shaheen, Christopher Harding, CulturalDC, Dance Loft on 14, Dance Place, Darian Lassiter, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Office of Planning, District Department of Transportation, DowntownDC BID, Fabritek, Franciso Murillo, George Branyan, Giannettii Architectural Sculpture, Girikul Kulkarni, Greg Staley Photography, Hakeem Olayinka, HEP Construction, Independent Custom Metalworks, Jerrald Musser of Cutting Unlimited LLC, Judy Estey, Justin Fair, Kay Christy, Keast & Hood, Keona Pearson, Kristen Barden, Kyle Todd, Laran Bronze, Lauren Glover, Len Adams of Mid-Atlantic Welding & Fabrication Inc., Liam O'Connor, Linton Engineering, Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, Mulheron Tree Experts, My Splash Pad, Patrick's Petcare, Prologue DC LLC, Rare Earth Metals, Raymond Kaskey, Rayseen Woodland, Ron Humbertson, Salem Art Works, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Stephanie Reyes, Stephen and Ginny Bergen, Stuart Eisenburg, Studio39 Landscape Architecture, Sujatha Jahagirdar, Todd Angelo Albin, Tonya Jordan, Train Printing, Tsahai Pettiford, and Washington Sculptors Group

Transforming Cities, Transforming Lives: The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

The District Architecture Center is pleased to host Transforming Cities, Transforming Lives: The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, an exhibition of 27 regeneration projects from nine countries that demonstrate how culture can have a positive impact well beyond conservation. These projects promote good governance, growth of civil society, rise in incomes and economic opportunities, greater respect for human rights, and better stewardship of the environment—even in the poorest and most remote areas of the globe. While some projects are completed, those that remain in progress go beyond mere technical restoration to address the questions of social and environmental context, adaptive re-use, institutional sustainability, and training.

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Aga Khan Council for the United States.

About The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), through its projects, seeks to be a catalyst to improve quality of life by activating culture as a springboard for economic and social development. These projects are laboratories for ideas that can positively shape the future in ways that are meaningful, beneficial, and impactful. At their core is a message of opportunity, of potential, of hope.

The AKHCP works on regeneration projects in historic areas in ways that spur social, economic and cultural development.  Its central objective is to improve the lives of the inhabitants of these historic areas while promoting models that will sustain these improvements. The Programme has shown how the creation of parks and gardens, conservation of landmark buildings, improvements to the urban fabric and the revitalisation of cultural heritage—in many cases the only assets at the disposal of the community—can provide a springboard for social development.

About the Aga Khan Council for the United States

The Aga Khan Council for the United States of America is the social governance structure for Ismaili Muslims. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, The Aga Khan Council is supported by numerous volunteers throughout the country who provide their time and talent toward improving the quality of life of the community. His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community.

The Ismaili Muslims are a culturally diverse community living in over 25 countries around the world. They adhere to a 1,400-year tradition of Shi'a values that are expressed through a commitment to a search for knowledge for the betterment of self and society; embracing pluralism by building bridges of peace and understanding; and generously sharing of one's time, talents, and material resources to improve the quality of life of the community and those among whom they live.

Organized by the Aga Khan Council for the United States of America in cooperation with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, and AIA|DC.

Exhibition designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Supported in part by BluEdge.


The 2018 Awards Show

The Lost Whiskey Project by Greenspur, Excellence Award—Small Project for Washingtonian Residential Design Award - Photo © Mitch Allen Photography

This exhibition combines award-winning projects from two of AIA|DC’s largest competitions:

Each year, our competitions recognize practitioners, educators, and students within the architecture community who demonstrate excellence in design. Projects are selected by distinguished juries of design professionals based outside of the Washington metropolitan region.

The exhibition features 31 projects organized by competition: single family, multifamily, and mixed-used residential projects in the Washingtonian Residential Design Awards; and architecture, interior architecture, historic resources, and urban design/master planning projects, including Presidential Citations, in the Chapter Design Awards. Citation categories include design and wellbeing, sustainable design, universal design, and urban catalyst.

2018 Washingtonian Residential Design Award winners: David Jameson Architect; demian\wilbur\architects; Eric Colbert & Associates PC; Greenspur; Jones & Boer Architects; McInturff Architects; reform llc; Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; and Shalom Baranes Associates.

2018 Chapter Design Award winners: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Dangermond Keane Architecture; EL Studio; Gensler; Hoffmann Architects, Inc./The Architect of the Capitol; ISTUDIO Architects; Jacobsen Architecture; McInturff Architects; Perkins Eastman; Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Shalom Baranes Associates; Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill LLP (SOM); SmithGroup; Studio Twenty Seven Architecture; and TEN Arquitectos/WDG Architecture.

Organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery and Suman Sorg Gallery.

Exhibition designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Supported in part by BluEdge.

Next Generation Architects: 5th Annual Thesis Showcase

The AIA|DC Emerging Architects Committee is pleased to present Next Generation Architects: 5th Annual Thesis Showcase, an exhibition of juried thesis projects by graduating students from schools of architecture around the globe. This program aims to spotlight the next generation of engaged architects emerging from today’s architecture schools.

Through independent research, with guidance from an advisor, students develop a topic over the course of a year, relating its relevance to the field of architecture through written and visual exploration. The process involves questions and analysis, research and documentation, and experiments and testing with explanation of findings that support a proposition. At the end of the year, students present their thesis projects to an audience of practitioners, faculty, and students.

Of the 26 submissions, 20 were selected for exhibition by a panel of jurors from the U.S. Green Building Council and AIA College of Fellows, including members of the AIA|DC Technology Committee and AIA|DC Design + Wellbeing Committee. Projects in this exhibition examine diverse topics: communities, death, environments, industry, nature, sustainability, transportation systems, and urbanism.

Four finalists, including Zoë Cope, Lindsay Connelly, Lonna Babu, and Wadiah Akbar, present their projects at the exhibition opening. Join us in celebration of these thought-provoking projects, shaped by the leaders of tomorrow.


Coordinators: Douglas Crawford, AIA, LEED AP B+C; David P. Leestma, AIA; and Leah Ijjas, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Organized by the AIA|DC Emerging Architects Committee

In cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery

Supported in part by ARC Document Solutions

2018 Unbuilt Washington Awards

The Unbuilt Washington Awards bridge the academic and professional communities by providing a forum for recognizing the contributions of both younger and established practitioners alike.

Since 2009, AIA|DC has conducted an annual competition that recognizes excellence in both theoretical and unbuilt commissioned projects. Open to registered architects, associate architects, landscape architects, planners, interior designers, and students from the Washington metropolitan region, the competition typically yields unique, innovative, and thought-provoking concepts from around the globe.

The difference between theoretical and unbuilt commissioned projects is simple: theoretical projects refer to exploratory work without a client such as design competitions, hypothetical or research-oriented assignments, and student work; unbuilt commissioned projects refer to unexecuted work or work that is not yet constructed in project types such as buildings, interiors, monuments and memorials, planning, public art, public space, transportation infrastructure, and urban design.

Of the 75 submissions this year, 7 projects were chosen by a panel of distinguished jurors, including Scott Erdy, FAIA of Erdy McHenry Architecture; Pavlina Ilieva, AIA of PI.KL Studio; and Barbara Swift, FASLA of Swift Company.

Post Industrial Appalachia - Andrew Shea, University of Virginia

Angles of Incidence: Mirror, Film, and Architectural Plot Twists - Austin Edwards, University of Virginia


Folded Barcelona: A New Catalan Parliament - Fang Nan, Haoruo Zhu, and Manuel Bailo (supervisor), University of Virginia



Material Memory Retrofitting - 
Luis Pancorbo and Ines Martin with Austin Edwards, Tyler Mauri, and Katie LaRose (collaborators), Pancorbo Arquitectos


City Fragments, Building Transitions: An Urban Stitching of Hong Kong Film - Philip Chang, University of Virginia

Willamette Public Charter School - Portia Strahan, University of Utah


Organized by AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery

Designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft

Supported in part by BluEdge